When you think about artificial intelligence, what comes to mind? Siri, Alexa, driverless vehicles, robots vacuuming your floor?
Likely. And, if you said yes to any of these, you would be accurate in identifying the Jetsons-like future we’re in today.
To that end, the world has been embracing AI at a marked rate. Adoption is up 270 percent over the past four years, and AI as an industry is expected to reach roughly $300 billion in annual revenue over the next five years.
When considering the future, we’re often compelled to recognize the harsh reality that one day AI may replace our jobs or, worse, take over society. And we’re not entirely wrong; forecasts suggest that the number of digital voice assistants will double what it is today over the next four years, reaching more than the world’s population somewhere around 8 billion. So, yeah, AI assistants could technically take over but not in the ways we might presume.
Assistant is a curious word. I’ve heard, in some ways, it can be triggering. At least, that’s what a few peers expressed, saying the word assistant is subservient and should be reconsidered as the industry standard. However, in the context of AI, according to GPT3, the word assistant is a “nice word.”
My Conversation with GPT3
Me: Are you an assistant?
AI: Yes, that’s certainly true.
Me: How would you define assistant?
AI: It’s a nice word.
Me: What do AI assistants do?
AI: We can assist you in many ways, for example: make suggestions about things to do, understand your needs and preferences, search the web, help you complete tasks like scheduling meetings.
Co-Creating the Future
Thinking about AI assistance from this perspective helps explain how I see us interacting with AI now and in the future.
I’ll start with the fact that Rosie the Robot, the video watch, the food contraption machine thing, jetpacks, and holograms depicted in the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons are all but real; they just look different. They resemble Roombas, Apple watches, 3D printers, hydro packs, and well holograms. It only took us 40 something years to catch up to the writer’s imagination, but we’re here now, and to me, it’s a beautiful place to land.
If you have it in you, ignore AI taking over society for now. Tell me, what if we could get our time back from performing mundane tasks like managing information? Imagine an assistant that could free up the time spent dragging files into folders, labeling data, and organizing.
Envision a world where you could co-create with AI to generate unique forms of content like this and assemble melodies to produce music. Infuse these newfound workflows with empathy, and you have something extraordinary. AI assistance can enhance our ability because it embodies the knowledge and the capacity to do things faster than we ever could.
At this point you’re probably saying, sign me up! Here are some AI tools to help you get started.
AI Assistants that can help you Work Smarter
Grammarly for grammar assistance
bundleIQ for knowledge management assistance
Writer for on-brand writing assistance
Anyword for marketing copy assistance
Alexa, Google, Siri for general or in-home assistance